Policy Insights in Political Economy and Governance

J-PAL’s Political Economy and Governance sector seeks to improve governance and service delivery in developing countries. Our policy insights below summarize the general lessons emerging from randomized evaluations on the impact of gender quotas on women’s political representation and service delivery; the use of audits to increase political accountability and reduce misuse of public resources; and, the electoral impact of providing voters with information on candidates’ qualifications, policy positions, and performance in office.
Frederico Finan (University of California, Berkeley) and Rohini Pande (Yale University), Political Economy and Governance Co-Chairs
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Improving tax compliance through reminder messages for taxpayers

Last updated: July 2022
Sending tax reminder messages to taxpayers is a cost-effective strategy to increase short-term tax compliance. Governments looking to improve tax compliance should invest in sending simple deterrence-framed messages to taxpayers.

Improving health worker performance through pay-for-performance programs

Last updated: July 2022
Pay-for-performance incentive programs for health care workers reward providers based on measurable performance indicators. Providing performance-based pay in addition to base pay can help to improve health provider performance on well-chosen targeted indicators relative to providing only base pay.

Increasing accountability and reducing corruption through government audits

Last updated: August 2020
Government audits have often increased political accountability, reduced misuse of public resources, and improved compliance with laws and regulations. In lower- and middle-income countries, audits have been more effective when the government had a stronger capacity to enforce punishments, when...

The risks and rewards of voter information campaigns in low- and middle-income countries

Last updated: March 2019
Providing information on candidates’ qualifications, policy positions, and performance in office can affect voter turnout and who people vote for. In lower-income countries, this type of information has been most effective when it was widely disseminated from a credible source.

Improving women’s representation in politics through gender quotas

Last updated: April 2018
Gender quotas for women in local government bodies can improve women’s representation in politics, increase provision of public services, and improve perceptions of women as leaders.

Sector Chairs

Co-Chair, Political Economy and Governance

Professor of Economics

University of California, Berkeley

Co-Chair, Political Economy and Governance

Professor of Economics and Director of Economic Growth Center

Yale University

Sector Contacts

Aimee Barnes

Senior Policy Associate, J-PAL Global

Headshot of Alex Chen

Policy Associate, J-PAL Global

Senior Policy & Communications Manager, J-PAL Global

Headshot of Anna Mysliwiec

Policy Manager, J-PAL Global